2023 POSTER CONTEST WINNER
The winner of this year's poster contest is Fernando Santiago, of Silver Spring, MD. He writes:
"My family loves parades. We are known to travel long distances to see them. When in 2017 we found out about the Wheaton Art Parade, right in the town we called home since 2015 after moving from Puerto Rico, we were thrilled. However, we were unable to attend.
We also missed the one in 2018 and only got to experience it through social media. However, in 2019 we were there and it was amazing. The floats, the artists, and the overwhelming love of art struck a chord in me. It was after that 2019 art parade that I decided to get back into art.
I had not made art since graduating from my art high school in Puerto Rico in 1996 but watching all those artists marching in the Wheaton Arts Parade inspired me to say "If not now, when?" This is the phrase I chose to portray in my submission to the poster competition. In it, I show regular people taking a chance to bring beauty to the world they inhabit. They are daring to create when so many are looking to destroy.
I will be forever thankful for the Wheaton Art Parade. It (and of course all the people involved in creating and sustaining it) have brought a lot of joy to my heart and it also brought the courage and perseverance needed to continue to make art every day."
You can see more of Fernando's art on his website and Instagram account.
Thanks to a donation from IHOP Wheaton, Fernando will receive a prize of $500 for his winning design. In addition, IHOP also will contribute $100 for art supplies to Glenallan Elementary School. Fernando selected Glenallan to receive the funds for supplies because his daughter attended there when the family moved to Montgomery County.
Wheaton Arts Parade is grateful to local artist and graphic designer Josue Martinez of Corinto Gallery for incorporating Fernando's artwork into the 2023 poster. This image will also be used on the parade T-shirt.